Vocabulaire en Français des Vêtements Garçon/
Boys' French-Language Clothing Glossary (D-L)

Figure 1.--.

Here is a French-language alphabetical listing of clothing items. They lead to English-language pages, but we think that the alphabetical French listing will help French speakers navigate our web site. This list includes not only the French words for garments, but also terms used in the manufacture and sewing of garments. We have included not only modern terms, but also older terms that are found in historic fashion publications. Our understanding of some of these historic terms is incomplete. French readers are incouraged to suggest additional terms or to provide any improvements on our discriptions of these terms.

Voici une liste alphabétique de termes de vêtements en langue française. Ils mènent à des pages de langue anglaise, mais nous pensons que la liste française alphabétique aidera les francophones à naviguer sur notre site.

Disposition: HBC has noted the term "disposition" used in a French Canadian newspaper about 1905 describing a boy's tunic outfit. A French speaking HBC reader tells us, "I am struggling a bit for exact translation of `disposition.' This word nowadays not used in such a context. All models presented in the newspaper are either plain tissue, or 'Vichy' (gingham) type, or 'quadrillé', or with 'rayures' (striped). I believe `disposition' could indicate a checkered type where horizontal and vertical stripes aren't equally broad."

Double pont: HBC does not yet have complete understanding of this. A French reader reports that "avec double pont", "Means with double "pont". It is the sailor short trousers with instead of a fly, a section of cloth buttons to the waist at the front and could be pulled down. The rest of the trousers stay in place. This style of trousers was adopted by the French Navy. This article was only for teenagers."

Drap/Draperie: HBC has noted the term "drap" used in French magazines at the turn of the 20th century meaning a non-descrip type of serge material. Serge includes a variety of twill weave fabrics with a characteristic diagonal wale.

Emboiterie: A French HBC reader tells us that he, like HBC, is somewhat hazy about many clothing terms used in 19th and early 20th century fashion publications. One of these terms is "emboiterie", a word that does not exist (anymore) in current french. It certainly originated from word boîte meaning box, or verb emboiter meaning to put in a box, to insert, to fit into... Would there be here something of "where the neck fits into the collar"?

Enfant: A child up to 14 years.

Enfant modèle: HBC has noted the term used in France "enfants modèles" and "garçon modèles". This translates as model child and boy. A French reader strsses, however, that this basic definition does not really capture the true mening of the term. We have noted that rompers are one of the outfits used for what the French call "garçons modèles" or particularly well behave and dressed boys.

Empiècement: "Empiècement" deals with the top of a garment. It refers to section of the garment just below the yoke. The yoke is a piece fitted around the neck or shoulders, or less commonly the hips, of a specific garment, and thus varying in shape. The rest of the garment hangs from it. HBC has noted this term commonly used in a sewing pattern for rompers. Smocking and embroidery work is often applied to a garment just below the yoke. "Empiècement" is the usually decorative work just under the yoke of smocks and rompers where the fabric is gathered or smock. In fact the modern work "smock" in English is derived from this smocking work. This smocking or gathers are little pleats commonly used for the typical French rompers and smocks as well as in Dutch and Belgian rompers. Mothers according to how much time she had could also do the gathers into fancy smocking or use embroidery with the smocking. Most commonly it is at the front of the farment, but some usually fancy children's garments have the "empiècement" continued at the back.

Ensemble: An ensemble is a complete outfit which might include a suit or shorts/romper set, with coordinated garments such as shoes/sandals, socks, gloves, bows/ties, caps, ect.

Ensemble fille-garçon: This seems to mean an outfit that can be worn by either a boy or girl, usually used to describe outfits for younger children.

Entre-deux: A sort of "emboiterie" or fancy lace collar--often lace trimed. Worm by women, but also by boys in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Façon spéciale simple pont: Without "pont" or the most common French short trousers without flies and buttoning in each part at the waist for boy.

Flanelle: Flannel, a woolen fabric.

Foulard: Neckerchief worn by Scouts or at summer camps. May also mean other types of scarves such as cold-weather scarves.

Frange: A French reader reports that in French there is no special term refering to the bangs hair style. So bangs are referred to, as in England as a "fringe" or in French "frange". "Cheveux courts avec frange" (short hair with fringe) or "cheveux longs avec frange". The popular expression for bangs is "coupe de cheveux au carré".

Garçon modèle: HBC has noted the term used in France "enfants modèles" and "garçon modèles". This translates as model child and boy. A French reader strsses, however, that this basic definition does not really capture the true mening of the term. We have noted that rompers are one of the outfits used for what the French call "garçons modèles" or particularly well behave and dressed boys.

Grand teint: This means a colored fabric ("tissu") that can be washed at usual washing temperatures. A HBC reader gives as an example, "tablier vichy (gingham smock) grand teint".

Gros réseaux: Concerning the "emboiteries" made with a group of threads, stringer but not less delicate. A Frech readers reports that "gros réseaux could possibly be interpreted as a special sewing method made with bigger type of thread to link collar with other part of garment. In other words something roughly similar to ground (backing) texture of, for instance, a carpet.

(L')habit du dimanche: This was a common term for the clothes reserved for sunday and special outings.

Jacquette: Jumper with front buttonning. A HBC French speaker says that this is a "jumper and sweater". "Jacquette" is like a jumper, usually knitted wool, and buttonned on front. HBC is not possible, but this sounds like a Cardigan sweater.

Jeune: A youth 13 an older through about 18-20, sometime a little older.

Jouets: Toys have been found in ancient civilizations. The ancient Roman children loved toys and games. The popularity or at least the availability of toys declined in the general economic decline after the fall of Rome. Toys again begin to become more plentiful as the economy of western Europe develops. As late as the 18th and early 19th century, however, there was a general consensus that toys and games were wasteful indulgences and that even young children should be involved in more beneficial activities. This attitude had begun to significantly change by the 19th century and the Victorian era. The popularity of toys increased greatly in the 19th century as modern concepts of childhood began to form and play as an activity for children became more accepted.

Kilts: Kilt(s)

Christopher Wagner

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Created: December 5, 2001
Last updated: March 3, 2002